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Bumper Spring Conference Season

Bumper Spring Conference Season

Looking forward to a summer break, probably not as much as the staff at Torquay's Riviera International Conference Centre who have just finished one of the busiest end of conference seasons ever, attracting over 8000 delegates and bringing around 4 million pounds into the local economy.

According to the Centre's managing director Barry Cole, his hard working staff deserve a holiday after a hectic three months in which they attracted nine major conferences.

Barry explained: "It has been extremely busy and very lucrative for Torbay's economy, business and tourism. Over the three months, the 8000 delegates and their families generated 36,000 breakfasts or evening meals or even beds to be made."

The busy period started with the Easter People conference in April which ran for seven days and which attracted in excess of 3,500 delegates. This was closely followed by the National Union of Teachers and the Royal College of Midwives annual conferences both of which brought Torbay unprecedented free publicity with visits from key cabinet ministers including Health Secretary Alan Milburn, the Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt and British film producer Lord David Putnam.

Other large conferences included the Association of Continence Advice, National Federation of Sub Postmasters and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. Additional media coverage was gained for Torbay with the broadcast of a BBC Question Time held in the Centre's largest hall, the Arena.

The busy conference season attracted well over 8,000 delegates plus exhibitors and families all of whom stayed with local accommodation providers, dined in local restaurants and shopped in Torbay's retail outlets. Based on national research, the conference visitors brought a conservative estimate of around 4 million pounds into the local economy in just 3 months.

Barry added: "The spring conference season is usually a busy one but this year's has been exceptionally hectic. Although it will come to a close in mid July, we are already looking ahead to a busy Autumn season which is looking equally as promising. It opens with the Ancient Order of Foresters annual conference in September and from then, until the end of November, the Centre will host large conferences like the National Association of Retired Police Officers, the British Association of Urological Nurses and Association of British Philatelic Society to name a few."

Anyone who wants further information about the conferences at the RICC can log onto www.ricc.co.uk to see all the forthcoming conferences.

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